NEF to be incorporated into IDC to guarantee funding for black entrepreneurs

Ms-Philisiwe-ButheleziIn a landmark breakthrough for South Africa’s quest for inclusive growth and radical economic transformation, the Ministers of Trade and Industry and of Economic Development announced in Cape Town on Tuesday that the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in order to meet the considerable demand for funding by black entrepreneurs.

This is in line with the affirmation by President Jacob Zuma in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Thursday that the quest for radical economic transformation must seek “fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female”.

Department of Trade and Industry spokesperson, Sidwell Medupe, said Both the IDC and the NEF have been identified by Government as central in implementing radical economic transformation and development policies, particularly in light of renewed efforts to develop black industrialists. “The merger will promote increased broad-based black economic empowerment with a specific focus on promoting black industrialists,” he said.

This decision is in line with government policy to consolidate South Africa’s development finance institutions to provide effective support to emerging and existing black entrepreneurs, and thereby enhancing efficient service delivery.

The dti and EDD will appoint a technical team to drive the process expeditiously. The Minister of Trade and Industry will continue to provide legislative and policy guidance to the NEF.

Medupe said the two Ministers are confident that this historic integration of two leading DFIs will enhance the country’s developmental aspirations as outlined by President Zuma in the SONA to “open up the economy to new players, give black South Africans opportunities in the economy and indeed to help make the economy more dynamic, competitive and inclusive. “This is our vision of radical economic transformation,” he concluded.

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